Lookie What I Made : An Inspiration Board

My studio has been in desperate need of an inspiration board for quite a while now. I have been tacking up a few things here and there. Sadly, though, most things have been piling up. My cheapness has kept me from investing in a fancy (because I can’t bear to have some plain ugly brown thing hanging on the wall, even if I am going to cover it with pretty things) cork/white board.  This week, I finally got the kick in the butt that I needed though.

The oh-so-talented Deirdre of DKM Art & Illustrations has been working on a little something for me and this week she sent me some pictures of it. She calls it a doodle, but I call it completely.freaking.gorgeous (and certainly not something to be tossed on the ever-growing pile in my studio to languish). So, when I was rummaging around in my basement looking for something (I have no idea what now, but I certainly didn’t find it) and found a dog-hair covered cork board hiding amongst the rest of the random basement junk, I knew it was time to get to work.

For anyone who is interested in how to fancy up an old cork board, read on…

Step One: Rescue grungy, dog-hairy cork board from the confines of the equally grungy, dog-hairy basement.

Step Two: Work diligently to remove any and all grunge and dog hair.


Step Three: Start rolling white paint onto cork.

Step Four: Realize two very important things: a) cork is a pain-in-the-arse to paint because it’s like a freaking sponge and sucks up massive amounts of paint and b) no matter how hard one tries, it is impossible to remove all the dog hair off of anything.

Step Four: Grumble and curse while continuing to alternate painting and picking dog hair out of wet paint.


Step Five: Dig through collection of patterned paper you’ve been hoarding keeping for just such a project until you find the perfect design.

Step Six: Bust out the Mod Podge and slather up the frame of the cork board so the paper will stick.

Step Seven: Tuck paper edge between frame and cork and then carefully, fold paper over the wet Mod Podged frame, pressing firmly to help the paper adhere. Continue in this manner until the whole frame (minus the corners) is covered. You can also staple the paper onto the back of the frame for extra stickability.

Step Eight: Finagle something to cover the corners (I can’t explain how I did this, but it bordered on advanced origami, heh).


Step Nine: Embellish! Or don’t, whatever.


Step Ten: Get out your hammer, nails, and level and hang your board.

Step Eleven: Realize that the walls in your old house are completely freaking wonky and there is NO WAY to hang anything level without putting at least half a dozen holes in the wall.

Step Twelve: Put about half a dozen holes in the wall.

Step Thirteen: Sit back and admire your inspiration board (while trying desperately to ignore all the stupid holes in the wall).

Note: I found three square pieces of cork lingering in my studio. So, I painted and embellished them to match.

More cool stuff:

13 thoughts on “Lookie What I Made : An Inspiration Board

  1. holy cow, this is awesome. it never, ever would have occurred to me to paint a corkboard, or that painting a corkboard would make it look so awesome. this makes me kind of mad at myself for freecycling an old corkboard not too long ago. I have lately been thinking that I needed something similar for my office, to add mantras and other inspiration as I work.

  2. I am totally floored. Ruth, this looks beyond FABULOUS! I actually emailed you, as well, because I said an expletive when I first saw it, and didn’t think your readers, or my Mom, would want to see it in the comment section! Ha!
    It’s beautiful. I only hope my doodle can live up to it’s coolness.

  3. I love it when something old and crappy is turned into something fresh and pretty. (Hmmm. I’m wondering if Mod Podge and white paint could be the new miracle skin care line? I’m not covered in dog hair — yet — but could use a little rejuvenation). Good job!

  4. Thank you! Every now and then I manage to get something right. 😉

    Mrs. M, I’m sure you are quite lovely, just like your daughter! :)

  5. This is the second blog I’ve come across today to have an inspiration board in their posts and there I was over the weekend trying to find some cork board too. But I was tricked by some paper that looked like cork board. FIE! I think there’s something in the air that wants all artists to work on an inspiration board right now. 😉

    I really like how it turned out. So cute!

  6. that sure was a lot of work, but the result is lovely! congrats :) and we hear you about the dog hair, the same goes for cat hair as well. still very small price to pay for that kind of wonderful company :)

  7. This is AWESOME Ruth! Love it… I love taking things that exist and are functional, but then really sprucing them up… however labor intensive, it’s a great feeling to see it done – always puts a smile on your face. :)

  8. Lol. I desperately wanted a corkboard last year, but was too poor to buy one. So instead of the basement, I kept eyeing the corkboards at school. Towards the end of the school year, I came upon some janitors putting fresh cork in the boards and leaving the old ones lying on the floor. I waited until the janitors were gone, then I took them, painted them green, and slapped them on to an illustration board. Now they serve as a repository for my random doodles. =)

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